Comments Off on Be Sure Your Kansas City Real Estate Contract Is Clear Regarding Which Items In The Home Are Fixtures

Checking The Pulse Of The Kansas City Real Estate Market

Sometimes there are items in a home that the buyer expects to stay but which a home seller believes are personal property. Our local base contract does a good job of covering the most common disputes seen over the years and a good listing agent and a good buyer’s agent can also help prevent many disputes by explaining early on in the process the difference between fixtures and personal property items that a seller can – and probably will – take with them at closing. 

But every once in a while a buyer shows up to their final walk-through and finds an item they expected to still be there is missing. Probably the most common item are curtains. Most believe accept that the brackets holding the curtains up are a fixture (because they’re screwed into the wall) but the curtains, which are simply hanging on the curtain rod, are personal property items. No matter what side of the fence you are on, the best thing for seller’s to do to avoid such a dispute is to write into the contract that the curtains do NOT stay with the home.

Conversely, should a home buyer covet the curtains, they can write into the contract that all blinds and window treatments stay with the home. Whether or not they will stay with the home can be a part of the contract negotiations and one way or another that is sure to clear up expectations and hopefully eliminate surprises at closing. Another item that I’ve seen buyers and sellers dispute is half bath mirrors. In my opinion… If the mirror is screwed into the wall, I believe it’s a fixture and if the mirror is hanging on a screw, it’s personal property. The real estate contract defines a fixture as items that are “buried, nailed, bolted, screwed or glued” to the property. But you’re better off not assuming anything and simply writing specific important items into the contract so there’s no misunderstandings.

Posted by Jason Brown

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